Despite getting some serious pressures from senators in the United States to stop the launch of its own digital currency products, social media giant Meta, previously Facebook, has not stopped the development of its digital wallet Novi.
On December 8, the head of Meta’s crypto and fintech unit, Novi, Stephane Kasriel, state that Meta’s messaging subsidiary company WhatsApp has started testing transactions using Novi wallet.
The upcoming feature, which is accessible to a limited number of individuals in the U.S., allows users to send and receive money on WhatsApp “instantly and without zero cost,” as per the executive.
There's a new way to try the @Novi digital wallet. Starting today, a limited number of people in the US will be able to send and receive money using Novi on @WhatsApp, making sending money to family and friends as easy as sending a message. 💸💬 pic.twitter.com/dGz3lejri7
— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) December 8, 2021
Since the launch of the Novi pilot in mid-October, Kasriel said Meta has been able to test and understand which features and capabilities are “most relevant to consumers.” Novi does not affect the privacy of WhatsApp personal calls and messages, which are as always end-to-end encrypted, he added.
Meta begins testing in the U.S.
On Twitter, Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp at Meta, verified the news, stating that some limited number of users in the U.S. can now send and receive money using Novi on WhatsApp. He further wrote:
“People use WA to coordinate sending money to loved ones, and now Novi will help them do that securely, instantly, and with no fees.”
In October, Meta launched its digital currency pilot in partnership with crypto exchange giant Coinbase and stablecoin company Paxos. The pilot firstly came out in the United States and Guatemala in coordination with thePaxos’ dollar-pegged stablecoin Pax Dollar (USDP).
The Open Markets Institute, a non-profit in the United States, wrote to a number of regulators, including the Department of Justice, claiming that Meta may be involved in the illegal business of taking deposits without a bank license. According to the organization, USDP is a smaller stablecoins, with “far less liquidity and use” than the leading stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).